Jan 30, 2014

A sticky post

My Beekeeping Calendar

My VIT has not progressed as we would've liked, and I remain very sensitive to honeybee venom. We've decided that the safest thing for me is to take the 2014 season off. I leave you with this calendar to keep busy with. You can click on any of the events for more details and additional reading. I hope you find it helpful. (Blue = honeybee, yellow = mason bee, green = what's blooming.) And don't forget, Marty Hardison's booklet, "The Appropriate Beehive" is available at right. May your hives be humming. — BB & HB

Jan 13, 2014

Honey Dulce de Leche: Milk and Honey Caramel Sauce

This recipe is very American. It calls for a jar, a can, and a stick.
Milk and Honey Caramel Sauce: use to fill crêpes, on warm biscuits, sliced pears or apples… 
Bring to a boil in a heavy-sided pot (3-qt minimum size):
1 jar of honey (a 1# Queenline is 11 oz. by volume)
1 can of evaporated milk (a big 12 oz. can, not the little one)
1 stick of butter (that's 1/2 c.)

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir to prevent scorching. Cook for 10 minutes after the mixture reaches a furious boil. Turn the heat down if the caramel is threatening to boil over no matter how much you stir. (Will not be a problem if you use a 4-qt pot.)

Off-heat, stir in:
Make a slurry with a pinch baking soda, 1/4 t. cornstarch, and 1 T. vanilla or almond extract. Expect some foaming when you stir it in gently. Return to heat and cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon – another 2 minutes or so. Strain and rapid chill using an ice bath if you want to use the caramel right away.

To package for gifting, strain the hot caramel into prepared jars and boiling water process for 10 minutes.*

YIELD: Makes 2 half-pints with some leftover for immediate use.

*I can't tell you that canning the caramel sauce will make it shelf-stable for a year, but it does give that satisfying POP when you open the jar, the POP that tells you, "This product was carefully made and is Good to Eat."